Last Thursday I did a school visit. Since it was a middle school, I’m not comfortable naming exact details for the sake of privacy, but suffice to say that I sat with an eighth grade class, then a seventh grade class, to talk about writing, cancer, death and other things.
The particular spark for this visit was my recent blog post on kindness and opportunity [ jlake.com | LiveJournal ]. The teacher had assigned that as reading to both classes, then had them write essays about kindness.
I got to hear some of the essays, as well as some related fiction from a writing assignment. I was also told some pretty interesting and serious things by several of the kids. But mostly I got to talk with them.
These days I’m on disability because I can neither work nor write effectively anymore. As a friend said to me last week, we all need meaningful pursuits. While bearing witness to cancer and its challenges is certainly a meaningful pursuit for me these days, that’s a small amount of time spent at a keyboard a few times per week. To be out in the world, talking to people of any age, about the things I think are important: that is a great gift.
I want to thank the classes and their teacher, and Ellen Eades for driving me to and fro so I could have the energy to focus on the kids.